Woodbury High School spring play opens April 26Woodbury High School will bring the Greek theater to life next week. WHS’ spring play “Antigone,” based on the Greek tragedy by Sophocles, will premier April 26 at the school.
By: Amber Kispert-Smith, Woodbury Bulletin
Woodbury High School will bring the Greek theater to life next week.
WHS’ spring play “Antigone,” based on the Greek tragedy by Sophocles, will premier April 26 at the school.
“Greek tragedy is the foundation of western theater,” co-director Jon Seashore said.
The play tells the story of Antigone’s two brothers who have died in battle, fighting over which one will reign over Thebes. Creon, uncle of Antigone, seizes the throne and ordains that one brother will be buried with honors while the other shall be left to rot. Anyone who attempts to bury the corpse will be sentenced to death.
Antigone, revolted by this inhuman edict, tries to bury her brother. She is caught, and though Creon tries to save her, the rebellious act only results in her death and martyrdom.
“The show is about standing up for your moral beliefs if it’s what you think is right, even if it goes up against the government,” co-director Karen Seashore said. “Those themes are certainly still relevant today.”
Karen and Jon Seashore said they chose “Antigone” because it is a play that is frequently read in high school English classes, so being exposed to both mediums is beneficial for students, Karen Seashore said.
“It’s nice that they’ll have a chance to be exposed to the text and the stage version,” she said. “They can look at the differences.”
“It’s a show that every student should see performed,” Jon Seashore said.
The WHS version of the show, written by Jean Anouilh, is different than the original Sophocles version of the play since it moves away from the idea of gods and fate and moves into the idea of government.
“The Greek one had more to do with fate and the gods – you can’t escape your fate kind of thing,” Jon Seashore said. “This one is much more modern in that it’s more an individual verses the state – people and power rather than the gods.”
WHS junior Angela Yang, who will be playing the title character, said the show has presented challenges for her and has forced her to step outside of her comfort zone.
“I love how Antigone the character is so strong and that she fights for what she believes in,” she said. “But, it’s made me have to be passionate about it and feel what she feels – capture that fire in her.”
WHS senior Dante Leyva, who will play Creon, said “Antigone” has been an exciting experience for him because it is a show that is the complete opposite of many of WHS’ previous shows.
“The whole serious tone of this play has been way different than anything we’ve ever done,” he said. “It’s an interesting contrast.”
Even though “Antigone” is the epitome of a Greek tragedy, it isn’t without its comic relief though in the palace guards.
“This play is incredibly tragic, and we get to be the ‘Three Stooges,’” WHS senior Ryan LeMay said. “We get to be a beautiful foil to that.”
Jon and Karen Seashore said one of their favorite aspects of “Antigone” is the acting challenges that it poses to the show’s stars, as well as the added depth it brings to those students who have read the play.
“Being able to play these characters, they get insights they wouldn’t normally get just reading it,” Jon Seashore said.
“Antigone” isn’t a show for everyone, though. Karen Seashore said young children won’t enjoy it.
“It takes a lot for the kids to understand and appreciate,” she said. “But, it’s a thinking show that adults and older students will understand and appreciate.”
Woodbury High School’s production of “Antigone” will run April 26-28 at 7 p.m. at the school. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students. Tickets can be purchased at the door starting one hour before curtain.